Do you want to shake up your portrait unit? Try introducing students to contemporary Israeli mixed-media artist, Hanoch Piven, and Itallian Renaissance painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo!
I like to teach these two artists together in the same unit, which I've decided to call, Unusual Portraits. You can download my unit plan here.
The unit plan consists of 4 activities. The first is a fun collaborative project students can create together in small groups. This activity is inspired by Hanoch Piven's artwork.
The next activity asks students to involve their families in the art making process. The unit plan includes handouts for students to work on in class, and at home with their family. Below is the YouTube video I show students prior to this activity:
After students brainstorm with their families, they bring in objects to create their own Piven-inspired portrait.
Now it's time to introduce Giuseppe Arcimboldo! He was another artist who made unusual portraits. I like to show this video as an introduction:
Students compare and contrast Arcimboldo's work with Piven on a Venn Diagram. We have a class discussion about the artists before moving on to the final project.
Students create their own unusual portraits by filling a silhouette with objects of a chosen theme. Students can pick any theme they want, but I encourage them to think of a theme with lots of possibilities for objects to draw. Here are a couple of examples:
The unit plan includes information about the artists, handouts, YouTube links, and student example images, Both of these artists broke from tradition and created truly unique artwork. They are great examples to share with your students! You can download the 12-page unit plan here.
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